Can you use CRAR if renting a commercial premises under a verbal lease?

One of the regulations surrounding commercial rent arrears recovery (CRAR) is that the lease must be in writing. Obviously, by its nature, a verbal lease is not in writing, therefore CRAR cannot be used. However, there are still other options available to landlords.

Verbal leases

If you have formed a verbal/oral lease agreement, then our advice would be to get an agreement in writing as soon as you can. That way, if your tenants end up missing rent payments for whatever reason you know where you stand legally in being able to terminate the lease successfully.

However, if you are already looking to forfeit the lease you will need to know the notice period required. For tenancies with a verbal/oral lease, the notice required depends on how often the rent is paid. If the rent is paid annually then notice of at least a year is needed, or it could even be longer as the notice must expire the day before rent is paid.

Once you have forfeited the lease, you can obtain a County Court Judgement to try to recover the rent if it was not paid.

CRAR restrictions

CRAR has a few other key aspects that need to be taken into account:

  • It only applies to commercial properties
  • You can use CRAR only to recover rent (no services or charges)
  • The landlord must instruct an Enforcement Agent to give seven days’ notice in writing before any goods can be seized
  • The landlord cannot themselves recover the goods, they must use a Certificated Enforcement Officer to go in and seize goods up to the value of the rent owed

If you have questions about what you can do to remove a tenant who has stopped paying rent or is being troublesome then get in contact with us. Our hugely experienced team can explain your options to you and help with the eviction process and commercial rent arrears recovery. Call us on 0845 370 7401 or fill out our contact form and we’ll get back to you.

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